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Jim Shi

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Posted: 02/16/2010 5:11 am

Marc Jacobs
Emotional. The one word best sums up Marc Jacobs' brilliant fall show. There was a sense of serenity at the Lexington Avenue Armory Monday night, where the lack of typical frenzy over VIP guests and dodging paparazzi flashbulbs was replaced by the anticipation of what was to come from behind a raised box set within what was essentially a massive cardboard box that housed the show and its guests. Jacobs and company president Robert Duffy emerged to start the show, ripping away the smaller box's brown paper sides. It was reminiscent of the old days, when the two, minus any sort of budget, did everything themselves. How apropos, then, that the collection that followed not only be eerily reminiscent of Jacobs' first forays at Louis Vuitton, where he is also creative director, but also of his much earlier days at Perry Ellis. The lineup of models that emerged--some models, some specially selected kids cast off the street--was moving.

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Perhaps most striking about the collection as each of the 56 looks walked by to a Frederic Sanchez-designed soundtrack of covers of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was that it was cozy, sensible and practical. Yes, ladies and gents, it was all in true ready-to-wear form. Throw on a gorgeous wrap coat over that Prince of Wales check three-piece suit and strap on a Mary Jane-esque boot; no fuss, no muss. The palette of camels and grays (with some Day-Glo yellow thrown in for good measure) was simultaneously both sobering and effortless elegance--a poignant moment harking back to an earlier era of true great American sportswear, not to mention calmer times before blogs and celebrity mayhem and Twitter (but don't tell that to Duffy, who rapid-fire tweeted from the venue).

One could almost sense the relief in the retailers' faces as the clothes appeared. Conservative is the right word to describe the effervescent lineup--filled with sumptuous cashmere and flannels and wools (and even practical sweatshirt material) with a dose of sequins and metallics thrown in for some pizzazz. To wit, note the princess coats, glitter cardigan, PVC trench and secretary sweaters. Indeed, it was all a very humbling moment, both in fabric use and attitude. Many of the pieces funnily enough featured mismatched buttons while deveptively simple accessories--low-heeled ostrich and croc pumps worn with matching ankle socks and an assortment of clutches and handbags (many trimmed with fur)--accompanied nearly every look.


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